The average need for sleep has remained unchanged throughout modern human existence. But technological advances throughout the last century (especially artificial light) have slowly eroded the duration of our nighttime rest. The recent revolution in computing, communications and media has further eroded average sleep time. An “always on” culture has permeated traditional barriers between work time, family time, playtime and rest. We often struggle to meet an unnatural (and occasionally unrealistic) expansion of obligations.
In the meantime, our need for sleep hasn’t changed. So what’s the impact?
In simplistic terms, we’re sleepier during the day than we should be because we’re carrying sleep debts or adding to them faster than ever before. Sleeping late on the weekends may seem to help, but in fact it’s only paying interest on the obligation, so to speak. The overall impact of daytime sleepiness and reduced energy levels is corrosive. They often cause:
- low productivity
- poor performance at school or work
- high stress and anxiety
- mood disorders
- other medical issues
Insufficient sleep impacts normal physiological rhythms such as appetite and hunger. This may cause people to eat at times when they would otherwise not do so, and possibly eat more than they should. The resulting disruption to normal metabolic and hormonal balances often causes weight gain. This is a scientific fact, not just coincidental. That’s why obesity and sleep deprivation are together the two biggest public health epidemics in western societies.
The overall cost to society of insufficient sleep is high, whether measured in personal or macroeconomic terms.
How Will SleepRate Help You?
Use SleepRate for a few days to identify sleep-wake patterns and to measure sleep duration, efficiency and structure. If those measurements suggest a condition that warrants further investigation, you’ll be prompted to consult a physician for an in-depth sleep evaluation. Otherwise, SleepRate will provide you with personalized advice on how to improve your sleep.